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Connecticut man charged in attack on police officer who was trapped in doors at Capitol riot

Patrick Edward McCaughey allegedly told the officer, “Come on man, you are going to get squished, just go home.”
Trump supporters try to break through a police barrier on Jan. 6, 2021, at the Capitol.Julio Cortez / AP file

The FBI arrested a Connecticut man for allegedly assaulting a Washington, D.C., police officer who was seen in viral videos trapped between doors during the Capitol riot, authorities said Wednesday.

Patrick Edward McCaughey, 23, was taken into custody at around 7 p.m. Tuesday in White Plains, New York, and charged with assaulting a police officer, civil disorder and unlawful entry, officials said.

In McCaughey's initial court appearance on Wednesday, a judge ordered him held without bail, citing the suspect's danger to the community.

"What we see in that video from this defendant is extraordinarily disturbing," U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew Krause said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Gianforti said footage clearly links McCaughey to the disturbing attack on Officer Daniel Hodges.

"This video is crystal clear, you can clearly see the defendant’s face and you can see officer Hodges' face as he’s screaming out of pain,” Gianforti said.

The suspect has been unemployed since late 2019 and lives with his parents, according to McCaughey's defense attorney, who had argued for a $150,000, which was denied.

The Justice Department criminal complaint says McCaughey repeatedly told the officer “just go home” and “come on man, you are going to get squished, just go home” while allegedly using a police shield against the officer during the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol Building.

Despite the excruciating pain Officer Daniel Hodges appeared to be in during the attack, he later told reporters he was happy to do his duty.

“If it wasn’t my job, I would have done that for free," he said. "It was absolutely my pleasure to crush a white nationalist insurrection, and we’ll do it as many times as it takes.”

The charging document says McCaughey pinned Hodges’ body between the riot shield and the lower West Terrace door as “a separate rioter begins violently ripping off Officer Hodges’ gas mask, exposing Officer Hodges’ bloodied mouth.”

McCaughey was allegedly seen leaving the Capitol on security cameras after he struck other officers with the shield, the document says.

Messages left by NBC News for McCaughey and his family, at publicly listed phone numbers based in Ridgefield, Connecticut, were not not immediately returned by early Wednesday evening.

Rioters, supporters of former President Donald Trump who had just attended a rally where Trump had spoken, mobbed the U.S. Capitol and delayed Congress' formal acceptance of Electoral College votes that secured Joe Biden's win.

“The vicious attack on Officer Hodges was abhorrent and quintessentially un-American,” Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin said in a statement.